Pure joy and excitement mixed with a lot of anxiety. These are some of the emotions associated with bringing a newborn baby home. As new parents quickly find out, babies spend most of their time sleeping in those first few months. So one of the best things you can do for your bundle of joy is to provide the safest sleep environment possible, free of clutter. While you might be tempted to channel your inner Martha Stewart and decorate your newborn’s nursery with cute pillows, stuffed animals and adorable quilts and blankets, at CPSC we want to remind parents that “Bare is Best.”
Nearly half of the infant crib deaths and two-thirds of bassinet deaths reported to CPSC each year are suffocations caused by placing infants to sleep on top of pillows, thick quilts and/or overcrowding in the baby’s sleeping space.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, about 3,500 infants deaths every year in the U.S. are sleep-related, including from sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS.
Many of these deaths are preventable. Moms and dads — follow our safe sleep tips and make sure other family members and caregivers do the same. It can literally save your baby’s life.
Back to sleep
- Always place baby on back to sleep—this helps prevent suffocation and reduces SIDS.
Pillows and Babies Don’t Mix
- Just because it’s soft and cute doesn’t mean it’s good for your baby.
- Never place pillows (of any kind, including nursing pillows), blankets and quilts under baby.
- Your baby can be cozy without all the clutter.
- Use a crib, play yard and bassinet that meets current CPSC standards. Follow manufacturers’ assembly directions for play yards, and do not add extra padding, pillows, blankets or other soft bedding.
- Use a firm, tightfitting crib mattress.
- Regularly check crib for loose, missing or broken parts or slats.
- Keep baby monitor cords, lamp cords, telephone cords, and night light cords at least 3 feet away from the crib. Children can wrap the cords around their necks and strangle.
- Be sure to check if your nursery items have been recalled.
- Sign up here for automatic recall notifications from CPSC.
To mark Baby Safety Month, CPSC is collaborating with the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) on this year’s theme “Strap in For Safety,” focusing on the importance of properly using straps on all juvenile products.
Visit CPSC’s Crib Information Center at www.cpsc.gov/cribs for safe sleep resources available to parents.
See our 10 Tips to Keep Your Baby Safe video here.
You can also visit the Safe to Sleep® public education campaign led by The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and in collaboration with other organizations.
Put your baby down to sleep safely and remember bare is best!